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Daily briefing: NPAs in SHG loans see jump; Justice Arun Mishra retires today

From Chennai sero survey results to Sushant Singh Rajput’s sisters telling police that he felt low since 2013, read the top stories from print edition here.




Good morning readers,

We are covering the fresh tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), how Kerala’s Covid story changed and Justice Arun Mishra’s past judgments.

Big Story

It wasn’t just at the south bank of Pangong Tso lake, Indian troops made pre-emptive moves at a second location “even as the ground commanders of the two sides were in discussions to de-escalate the situation.” However, there were no clashes between the troops of the two armies.

From the Front Page

There has been a steady rise of non-performing assets (NPAs) in bank loans to self-help groups (SHGs) in the last financial year. The outstanding bank loans amounted to about Rs 91,130 crore at the end of March, of which Rs 2,168 crore or 2.37% were NPAs.

At least four Chief Ministers of non-BJP states, including Tamil Nadu, have written to the Prime Minister and Union Finance Minister rejecting the proposal that states borrow to meet the GST compensation  shortfall of Rs 2.35 lakh crore. 

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, raising “serious concerns” that Facebook India management deleted right-wing pages and “reduced their reach” before the 2019 elections, that “employees are on record abusing government officials”.

The Pandemic

The recent spurt in cases in Kerala has changed its Covid-19 story in the past four months. By the last week of April, with only two dozen active Covid-19 cases and barely 500 new cases since January 30, Kerala had claimed to have flattened the curve when other states were struggling. Four months on, Kerala ranks 14 among states with a high caseload.

A population-based sero survey carried out in Chennai has shown that one-fifth of its population has been exposed to Covid-19. The results were out of samples tested for antibodies on 12,405 individuals from the Greater Chennai Corporation’s 51 wards. The study said “around 80% of the population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection here.”

Beyond Covid

Under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package, which was announced to help migrants facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, only 33 per cent of free foodgrains and 56 per cent of free gram (whole) have actually reached the intended beneficiaries.

Even as Sushant Singh Rajput’s father, K K Singh, and the family’s lawyer, Vikas Singh, have claimed that the family had no knowledge of the actor being depressed, the CBI has recorded statements of at least three of his family members in which they flag his mental health. Two of them said the actor had been “feeling low” since 2013.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has pointed out that Ambala has very high concentration of birds and this has the potential to cause very serious damage to the Rafale aircraft in case of a collision. So, keeping in mind the safety and security, the IAF has approached the Haryana government, requesting prompt measures to address the garbage disposal method in the area.

ICYMI

  • The Allahabad High Court Tuesday set aside the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA) and ordered the UP government to release him “forthwith”.
  • The Delhi High Court granted bail to Pinjra Tod activist and JNU student Devangana Kalita in a Northeast Delhi violence case saying there is no evidence of hate speech.
  • In a relief to Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, the Supreme Court Tuesday said that telcos could pay their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues over the next 10 years starting April 1, 2021.
  • A special CBI court hearing the Babri mosque demolition case concluded the trial on Tuesday with lawyers of some of the accused presenting oral and written arguments.
  • Days after Suresh Raina’s relatives were attacked by robbers in which his uncle was killed, the Punjab Police formed a four-member SIT to investigate the incident.

And Finally…

At a Supreme Court-organised event, he had once called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “versatile genius”. Justice Arun Mishra, who retires today, gave the government the benefit of doubt in most cases it was involved in, his critics say. We look at his judgments and the controversies he courted since being elevated to the apex court in 2014. 

Delhi confidential:  A fortnight has passed since the Congress high command set up a committee to address issues raised by Sachin Pilot and the MLAs who rebelled with him against Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, but the panel is yet to carry out any substantive work.

In today’s podcast, we are looking at what the government needs to do to boost the economy, the latest move by China to change the status quo along the LAC, and reflecting on the career of Pranab Mukherjee.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha

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